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How Cha Tiger was Tricked/Cha Tiger Engana (1).

Many years ago, Cha (2) Tiger, the tiger, did not live in the woods, but instead among the people. And everyone feared him. When they saw Cha Tiger even come around the corner, they would run away.

One evening, a group of people sat under a large tamarind tree. They were talking about Cha Tiger. Somebody said: "You know, that guy is very strong, and I don't trust him for anything. He probably eats a lot too. I'm afraid of him!"

"Oh, you're so dumb! What could Cha Tiger possibly do? Only roar. I'm not afraid of him at all. Of course he needs to eat a lot. Such a big body needs lots of food, otherwise he would be too weak to even walk. But I bet you that I can sit on his back, just like I can sit on the back of any dumb ass."

It was Nanzi who spoke these words. The people under the tamarind tree fell against each other, laughing.

"You, Nanzi? You're just lying. If he blows a puff of breath, you'll fall right over! Stop talking nonsense!"

"I'm not lying and I'm also not bragging. I will show you. Tomorrow, I will be riding on his back. In fact, he will take me all the way to His Majesty, Shon Arei."

Very early the next morning, Shon Arei already knew about everything. He was curious to know if Nanzi truly had such courage. And now Cha Tiger walks by.

"Good morning, Cha Tiger," someone greeted him.


"Cha Tiger, listen."


"Nanzi made fun of you."

Cha Tiger stood still and roared a bit louder: "Grrrrrr ..."

"Do you know what he said? That he is not afraid of you. That he will climb on your back. That you're not as strong as we think you are."

Cha Tiger got angry and shouted, "I'll go see him and teach him a lesson!"

The entire way, Cha Tiger roared with anger. All the children and adults ran into their homes. They all watched through the blinds to see what was going to happen. The street was empty. All was fair game for Cha Tiger.

Nanzi, too, had heard the roar that sounded louder and louder. He got scared and pale. His teeth chattered, as if he were in a cold sweat. Sweat streamed down his forehead. Before Shi Maria could ask anything, Cha Tiger was already banging on the front door, almost pounding the door from its hinges. Shi Maria opened the front door.

Cha Tiger pushed her to the side. In a corner of the house, he saw Nanzi lying on his stomach, shaking.

"How are you, Cha Tiger?" Nanzi asked in a plaintive voice.

"I came to hear from your mouth what you've been saying about me. Grrr."

"Me? I spoke badly about you? How can people be so mean! This is going too far. Can't you see how sick I am?"

Nanzi waited a moment, like someone who has trouble breathing, then continued in the same plaintive tone, "Shi Maria wanted to take me to Shon Arei, because I don't have any money to buy herbs. There is a doctor there who can examine me and cure me. I, I can't talk any more."

Exhausted Nanzi fell over again, "Me, a father of nine children . . ."

Cha Tiger panicked. Nanzi was really sick. God knows, he could be dying.

"Cha Tiger, you're strong. Couldn't you take me to Shon Arei?"

Cha Tiger felt sorry for Nanzi. So he said: "Okay, go ahead and climb on my back."

"Oh, I can't. I hurt everywhere. Have Shi Maria place a pillow on your back."

"Very well."

Shi Maria placed a pillow on Cha Tiger's back. With great difficulty, Nanzi climbed onto a stool. He grabbed Cha Tiger's ears with his hands and slid onto the back of the tiger. His head rested on Cha Tiger's neck.

"In this position, I'll be shaking too much and will have to grab your ears. I better put a rope through your mouth that I can hold onto. That way I can sit up."

Cha Tiger grumbled that it was okay. And while Nanzi sighed and complained, Shi Maria pulled the rope through Cha Tiger 's mouth.

"Take it easy," Nanzi said to Cha Tiger as he started walking.

In the bush, Nanzi said, "Even the mosquitoes are pestering me. They can see that I don't have much longer to live. Cha Tiger, let me cut off a twig from this tree, so I can shoo them away."

Cha Tiger stopped and Nanzi cut off a twig. Again and again, Nanzi waved the twig, then wailed in pain. They exited from the bush. A group of people stood by the side of the road.

Nanzi sat up, waved the twig, and hit Cha Tiger so hard, that Cha Tiger panicked and started running. He ran all the way to Shon Arei. With his tongue hanging out of his mouth, Cha Tiger stood in front of His Majesty.

"See, Your Majesty? Cha Tiger is really my donkey!"

All the people shouted, "Hurray for Nanzi!"

Cha Tiger got embarrassed when he realized that Nanzi had tricked him. He ran off into the bush, and there he has remained until today.

Shon Arei gave Nanzi a sack full of money. And His Majesty's carriage brought Nanzi home. Nanzi and his children got new clothes, and Shi Maria got a dress covered in lace and embroidery, and a hat with ostrich feathers.

Hopi ana pasa Cha Tiger no tabata biba den mondi, sino kaminda hende mes tabata biba. Tur hende tabatin miedu di dje. Ora nan weta Cha Tiger punta hanchi so, ya nan tabata kita p'e.

Un anochi un grupo di hende tabata sinta bou di un palu enorme di tamarein. E kombersashon tabata trata di Cha Tiger. Un di nan di: "Boso sa no, e kompai ei tin masha forsa i mi no ta konfi'e niun tiki. Lo e mester ta kome masha hopi. Mi tin miedu di dje!"

"Ai, bo ta kens! Ta kiko Cha Tiger por hasi? Blo grita so. Ami si no tin miedu di dje. Klaro ku e mester ta kome hopi. Un kurpa grandi asina mester gasta hopi kos, sino ni kana e no por kana di flakesa. Mi ta pusta boso ku mi por sinta riba su lomba, meskos ku mi por sinta riba lomba di kualke buriku."

Ta Nanzi tabata esun ku a pronunsia e palabranan aki. E hendenan a hari te dal kontra otro.

"Abo, Nanzi? Gana bo ta gana. E ta supla, tumba bo plat abou! Stop di papia kos di kens!"

"Mi no ta gana, ni mi no ta broma tampoko. Lo mi laga boso mira. Manan mi ta kore riba su lomba. Lo e hiba mi te na Shon Arei."

Su manise, bon tempran, ya Shon Arei tabata sa tur kos. E tabata kurioso pa sa si Nanzi tabatin tur e kurashi ei. Ata Cha Tiger mes ta pasa.

"Moru, Cha Tiger," un di e hendenan a kumind'e.


"Cha Tiger, tende!"


"Nanzi a hasi bofon di bo."

Cha Tiger a keda para i el a grita un poko mas duru: "Grrrrrr ..."

"Bo sa kiko e di? Ku e no tin miedu di bo. Ku e ta subi riba bo lomba. Ku bo no tin asina tantu forsa manera nos ta kere."

Cha Tiger a rabia i grita: "Mi ta bai p'e i mi ta bai regla su kuenta!"

Henter kaminda Cha Tiger a grita furioso. Tur mucha i tur hende grandi a kore drenta nan kas. Tur ta wak dor di yalusi loke ta bai pasa. Kaya tabata bandona; el a keda pa Cha Tiger so.

Nanzi tambe a tende e gritamentu ei, ku a bira ora pa ora mas duru. El a spanta, bira blek. Su djentenan tabata bati kontra otro, manera hende ku tin kalafriu. Sodo tabata basha di su frenta. Shi Maria no por a puntra nada, pasobra ata Cha Tiger a bati porta di kas, manera ta saka e ker a sak'e di su skarnirnan. Shi Maria a habri porta.

Cha Tiger a push'e un banda. Den un huki di e kas el a weta Nanzi drumi boka abou ta tembla.

"Kon ta, Cha Tiger?," Nanzi a puntra ku un bos lastimoso.

"M'a bin tende di bo mes boka, loke bo a bisa di mi. Grrrr."

"Ami aki? Ami a papia malu di bo? Ta kon hende bibu por ta malu asina? Esaki si ta kolmo de los kolmos. Bo no ta mira kon malu mi ta?"

Nanzi a warda un ratu, manera hende ku no por hala rosea drechi, kaba el a sigui papia ku e mesun bos lastimoso: "Shi Maria ker a hiba mi serka Shon Arei, pasobra mi no tin niun sen pa kumpra yerba. Aya un hende sabi por samina mi i kura mi. Ami, ami no por papia mas."

Agota Nanzi a kai atrobe boka abou. "Ami, un tata di nuebe yu ..."

Cha Tiger a spanta. Nanzi ta malu di berdat. Dios sa ku e no ta muriendo.

"Cha Tiger, abo tin forsa. Lo bo no por hiba mi serka Shon Arei?"

Cha Tiger a hana duele di Nanzi. P'esei e di: "Ta bon, subi riba mi lomba numa."

"Ai, mi n' por! Tur mi kurpa ta hasi due. Laga Shi Maria pone un kusinchi riba bo lomba."

"Ta bon."

Shi Maria a pone un kusinchi riba Cha Tiger su lomba. Ku masha difikultat Nanzi a subi para riba un banki. El a pasa man tene Cha Tiger su oreanan, kaba el a laga su kurpa slep baha riba lomba di Cha Tiger. Nanzi a keda ku su kabes riba palu di garganta di Cha Tiger.

"Asina mi kurpa lo sakudi muchu i lo mi mester keda tene bo na bo orea. Miho mi pasa un kabuya dor di bo boka, ya mi tin un kaminda di tene. E or'ei mi por sinta net."

Cha Tiger a gruna ku ta bon. Mientras Nanzi tabata suspira i keha, Shi Maria a pasa e kabuya dor di boka di Cha Tiger.

"Ban pokopoko," Nanzi di ku Cha Tiger ora el a kuminsa kana.

Den mondi Nanzi di: "Hasta e muskitanan ta molestia mi. Nan ta mira ku mi no tin hopi dia mas di bida. Cha Tiger, laga mi korta un rama di e palu aki pa mi kore ku nan."

Cha Tiger a keda para i Nanzi a korta su rama. Kada be e ta zuai ku e rama, kaba e ta keha di dolo. Ata nan a sali for di mondi. Un grupo di hende tabata para kantu di kaminda.

Nanzi a lanta kurpa, zuai ku e rama i dal Cha Tiger asina duru kune, ku esaki a spanta asina tantu ku el a sali na kareda te serka Shon Arei. Lenga afo el a para dilanti di Su Mahestat.

"Shon Arei a weta? Cha Tiger no ta nada mas ku mi buriku!"

Henter pueblo a grita: "Biba Nanzi!"

Cha Tiger a hana bergwensa, ora el a kompronde ku Nanzi a nek e. El a saka un kareda bai mondi. Eiden el a keda te dia di awe.

Shon Arei a regala Nanzi un saku di plaka. Shers di Su Mahestat a hiba Nanzi kas. Nanzi i su yunan a hana pana nobo i Shi Maria a hana un shimis tur di kanchi i bordur i un sombre ku pluma di abestrus.

(1) From Kon Nanzi a nek Shon Arei i otro kuentanan antiano di e arana sabi. Hoe Nanzi de Koning beetnam en andere Antilliaanse verhalen over de slimme spin, based on the collection of Nilda Pinto. Originally published by Zirkoon uitgevers/Bommes b.v. and Instituto Raul Romer, Amsterdam/Curacao, 2005, p. 13-20. With permission from the publisher.

(2) Cha before a proper name can have many different meanings, for example, buddy, friend. Usually it has a slighltly negative connotation.

Nilda M. Geerdink-Jesurun Pinto (CURACAO 1918-1954)


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Author:Geerdink-Jesurun Pinto, Nilda M.
Publication:Journal of Caribbean Literatures
Article Type:Short story
Date:Jun 22, 2007
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